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Re: Desktop Sync

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:26 am
by dhaupert
Hi there,

Sorry for my delay in chiming in on this important topic. The solution I am working on is indeed a cloud based sync so it's probably not an option for either of you. That said, I can't make promises on this, but I do hope to experiment with an option to sync via FTP after finishing the cloud sync as there are others in the same situation as you- who can't sync to the cloud but perhaps could sync to their own server. It would require a server or a computer that has an open port to accept FTP from the internet. I believe it's technically possible but I have to check the speed and verify this before I make any promises!

The reason HanDBase currently requires both ends to initiate a sync is that the alternative- having a computer open to accept connections, is a logistical nightmare for users. There are apps that do things this way and they have all sorts of firewall and open port issues and I didn't want to contribute to that. I saw that one of my early competitors which is still around had abandoned this for a cloud solution and I can imagine why they did so!

Ultimately I think the FTP solution would be a great way to make this possible so stay tuned and I hope to have an answer for you before the year's end. My original plan was to release the cloud solution in early 2014, but I had to take on some contract work this year and it's limited my time for HanDBase development quite a bit. I am finishing up a big project in August so hopefully I'll be back to full speed on it in September!

Re: Desktop Sync

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:32 am
by CGRG
Dave,
Is there no way the connection to cloud services can be directed to a Network?
As I partially stated earlier, I have a secure network and every user has to be on the network to work. it is username/password protected with firewalls installed.
If the device performing the sync (IOS or Android) had a unique ID that the server recognized, that could prevent any other unauthorized devices from updating the system.
I say this because each of our PC's and users have a unique ID that the network has to recognize before they can get access to the network.
There may be other products or other ways do what I'm suggesting but I would prefer to use DDH.

Re: Desktop Sync

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:11 pm
by CGRG
Dave, is it possible for the piece that looks at cloud services be configured to look at a network.
Concerning security, I am on an intranet with firewalls and such. Because we have offices across the state they are each connected. Our iDevices have to use VPN to connect to the network. Our laptop pc's each have a unique name and each employee has a unique ID and password. Basically we are an Internet inside the Internet. An Intranet. Many home users have intranets setup. Some are called home networks. They reside behind their router and are reasonably safe from prying eyes, however the router can be configured to open certain ports to allow outside traffic to get in. I'm sure you already know this.

My guess, one way to eliminate unwanted devices from getting to the desktop is have the remote device assigned a unique ID, like the iDevice UDID and the server/desktop only respond to the authorized ID.
FTP doesn't seem immediate and seems like it would still require some operator intervention.
I know you can do this. This is my hope list,
The user updates a record. The iDevice connects to a specific pc running the desktop software, checks if it is an authorized device and syncs, otherwise nothing happens. Again each iPhone/iPad has a unique number called a UDID.
I program for our Intranet and do this very well but it is web based. I update an Access database via ASP and it works extremely well.
Since everyone in my group has an iPhone I'm trying to move my users to the iPhone and a paperless environment.

Thanks for your listening ear,
Michael

Re: Desktop Sync

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:35 am
by dhaupert
CGRG wrote:Dave,
Is there no way the connection to cloud services can be directed to a Network?
As I partially stated earlier, I have a secure network and every user has to be on the network to work. it is username/password protected with firewalls installed.
If the device performing the sync (IOS or Android) had a unique ID that the server recognized, that could prevent any other unauthorized devices from updating the system.
I say this because each of our PC's and users have a unique ID that the network has to recognize before they can get access to the network.
There may be other products or other ways do what I'm suggesting but I would prefer to use DDH.


Hi there,

Thanks for your reply. The FTP option I mentioned was the way I'd redirect the sync to a server. FTP is a file transfer protocol and any desktop, server, etc can run an FTP client. There wouldn't be any user interaction required during the sync- you'd provide login credentials to the app and it would be able to connect and sync to the databases. The reason I was considering using FTP is that it could either be a server or a desktop and that the FTP software itself would handle all of the issues with open ports, firewalls, etc. We are a very small business and unfortunately are not equipped to provide something that is going to be laden with lots of support issues. So using FTP was my workaround of sorts!

Re: Desktop Sync

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:26 am
by cpkisgr8
All;
I just joined this forum and see this product has lots of potential, just needs some added features.

Any updated to the solution yet?
I've reported the requirements.
1. I don’t want any users to have the option to make any changes or modifications to the forms.
2. I want users, working from remote locations using Windows laptops/iPhones/iPads to sync with a Desktop/Server once they are on the correct network.
3. I want the user to initiate the sync even if the server is unattended. (The desktop/server can be assigned a static IP Address).
4. If two or more users try to sync at approximately the same time? Will I get a message saying something like another user is syncing, please wait.
6. I want the Desktop/Server to update an Access database after the sync is done.
7.Can or will the sync send the most current data back to the laptops/iPhones/iPads from the Access database?
8. Can the sync be performed with an iPad/iPhone using the 3G / 4G connection?
9. Is VPN supported
10. If much of the above is not possible and I need to use Dropbox, can I sync with a database in Dropbox and it contain the data of all other sync'd users?

We just began implementing Box.com with single sign-on, is this a solution for uploads?
My case:
10-15 remote end-users servicing utility tanks, underground wiring, etc.
Converting 25 paper-forms they use to track maintenance, safety and inspections to e-forms deployable through ipads, iphones or laptops
filling out e-forms stores data locally and then securely uploads data to an internal resource DB (MS Access)
Any updates to the forms will be pushed back to the end-user devices

Much appreciate options.
Marjie

Re: Desktop Sync

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:27 am
by DavidDevaneyJr
cpkisgr8 wrote:All;
I just joined this forum and see this product has lots of potential, just needs some added features.

Any updated to the solution yet?
I've reported the requirements.
1. I don’t want any users to have the option to make any changes or modifications to the forms.
2. I want users, working from remote locations using Windows laptops/iPhones/iPads to sync with a Desktop/Server once they are on the correct network.
3. I want the user to initiate the sync even if the server is unattended. (The desktop/server can be assigned a static IP Address).
4. If two or more users try to sync at approximately the same time? Will I get a message saying something like another user is syncing, please wait.
6. I want the Desktop/Server to update an Access database after the sync is done.
7.Can or will the sync send the most current data back to the laptops/iPhones/iPads from the Access database?
8. Can the sync be performed with an iPad/iPhone using the 3G / 4G connection?
9. Is VPN supported
10. If much of the above is not possible and I need to use Dropbox, can I sync with a database in Dropbox and it contain the data of all other sync'd users?

We just began implementing Box.com with single sign-on, is this a solution for uploads?
My case:
10-15 remote end-users servicing utility tanks, underground wiring, etc.
Converting 25 paper-forms they use to track maintenance, safety and inspections to e-forms deployable through ipads, iphones or laptops
filling out e-forms stores data locally and then securely uploads data to an internal resource DB (MS Access)
Any updates to the forms will be pushed back to the end-user devices

Much appreciate options.
Marjie


Hi Marjie,

There is not yet a solution for a remote sync for multiple users to a single Desktop or Server available in HanDBase for iOS. The users would have to be connected to the same Network that the Desktop or Server is on to be able to Sync over WiFi. They would also have to be able to initiate the Sync from the desktop in the HanDBase Conduit.

Regarding your other questions.

1. You can Password Protect the ability to access the Database Properties in the Security Section of your databases, under Access Permissions. Change that setting to Password Required and then Set Access Password to one only you know. Then users won't be able to modify the form/database.
2. As mentioned, it is not currently possible to sync remotely from the iOS device.
3. Not applicable due to #2 and my comments above.
4. Not applicable.
6. If you can take out the need to sync remotely then syncing with a Microsoft Access database is possible with the HanDBase Professional add-on for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch. This includes the Sync Exchange component that allows a full sync with a Microsoft Access database.
7. These settings can be modified to meet your needs in the HanDBase Conduit setup. There you can share a HanDBase database that syncs with an MS Access database between multiple users that sync to that Server. Then you can choose how you want the data synchronized. EG Pushing records from Access to HanDBase every time, which is useful for updating a Product List or something similar, that the users don't need to edit. You can also have it do a full sync so records added or edited on any device are synched to the Access database and then back to the users when they sync.
8. At this time the only way to sync an iOS device is over WiFi while connected to the same network as the computer/server.
9. VPN is not directly supported in HanDBase.
10. HanDBase does not currently support syncing with Dropbox or any other Cloud Services. Additionally, because of the way that iOS apps are developed, other applications cannot get access to programs like HanDBase. DDH Software would have to add support for Dropbox or another Cloud service to be able to allow syncing to that service. However, this would then revert to a File/Database level sync, not the record level sync that is supported in the HanDBase Conduit. That being the case then you definitely would not be able to sync multiple users databases to the same account with that service as one user's database would overwrite another's.

The same thing would apply to box.com as it does in #10.

What you describe needing to do would work with HanDBase except for the need to sync remotely. If the users can sync at the server, then what you need to be able to do is possible.

I hope this helps.

Re: Desktop Sync

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:25 pm
by CGRG
It has been several years since my last post and I am hoping there has been some progress.
What, if any progress has there been on any type of unattended sync?

Re: Desktop Sync

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:24 am
by Treanot
My two cents, and I might be having outdated information. An issue with using Dropbox or similar service is that you will not be able to view images. Images as I recall are solely depended on the /handbase/image folder. I recall this being a problem when placing databases on a different directory when using share databases. Search prior post about that topic.

Re: Desktop Sync

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:02 am
by ddhsoftwareadmin
CGRG wrote:It has been several years since my last post and I am hoping there has been some progress.
What, if any progress has there been on any type of unattended sync?


Hi there,

Good to hear from you! Not much has changed in the world of HanDBase in the last few years. In 2014 I had to take a full time job elsewhere as sales were not enough to support me working on this full time. As such I only had a few hours a week to work on HanDBase and most of that was spent answering emails and maintaining the business. I thus was only able to update the apps to maintain compatibility with the latest OS releases and some small features here and there. A cloud based sync is something you and I have both longed for in HanDBase, but it requires not only a lot more development time and attention, it requires the hard costs of running a cloud server. I did look into a dropbox/Google Drive and iCloud based sync and ruled them out for several reasons- a key one being that without the ability to run any logic on the cloud side (eg, Dropbox, Drive, or iCloud) the app would not only have to poll the site for changes, but it would have to transfer entire files when a single change was made in a database.

I mention all of this to say where things currently are with one major recent change- as of last week I have gone back to working for DDH Software full time. I'm not sure I will be able to make a living doing so, but I wanted to give it another try as there are so many stones left unturned in this product over the last few years and it's been left by the wayside for too long. If I am able to grow the userbase in the short term I can pursue some major enhancements like a proper cloud sync, a HanDBase 5.0 database app with an improved format supporting Unicode, more fields/records/etc. All this is dependent on what I can accomplish in growing interest in the platform in the short term, so I can't make any guarantees just yet. But there is movement on this front and I wanted to share this with you!

Re: Desktop Sync

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:04 am
by ddhsoftwareadmin
Treanot wrote:My two cents, and I might be having outdated information. An issue with using Dropbox or similar service is that you will not be able to view images. Images as I recall are solely depended on the /handbase/image folder. I recall this being a problem when placing databases on a different directory when using share databases. Search prior post about that topic.


I could theoretically have used Dropbox with images- at the very least, a one way store of all images from each version of HanDBase connected to it. And a proper two way image sync would have also been possible, but as per the reply I just posted there were some other issues with using Dropbox and other cloud based storage for proper record level syncing.

Hope there will be news on this front in the coming months now that I'm able to dedicate more time to the app!